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Hotel Business: Marriott, Jim Ovia sign multi-billion naira hotel deal
Business Reports
Jim Ovia, former chief executive of Zenith Bank plc


LAGOS —Business Day

Jim Ovia, banker and  former  chief executive officer of Zenith Bank, yesterday led Quantum Luxury Properties Limited which he currently chairs, to sign a multi-billion naira deal with the global hotel group, Marriott, in what could further alter the skyline of the Ozumba Mbadiwe corridor of Victoria Island, Lagos.
The development will see the establishment of a 150- room  five star hotel on the Ozumba Mbadiwe Waterfront, which is currently home to Radisson Blu and Oriental Hotel.
Speaking at an agreement signing ceremony held in Lagos, Ovia said: “We are proud to have the opportunity to partner with a world-class brand like Marriott,” pointing out that the Nigerian economy continues to be an attractive destination for foreign direct investments, particularly with the boom in the telecoms industry and the attractiveness of the banking sector.
Giving insight into the plan, Ovia said, “We identified a gap in the marketplace within the hospitality industry, to support the burgeoning sectors. Nigeria is well known for its hospitality, and Lagos as a mega-city deserves world class facility to complement its status.”
According to Ovia, the Lagos Marriott Hotel is to launch in 2014 and will boast all the facilities and luxury associated with an international market leader like Marriott.
Also speaking at the ceremony, Alex Kyriakidis ,President, Africa & the Middle East, of Marriot, said the arrival of Marriot in Lagos marks a tremendous milestone in the hospitality business in Nigeria, adding that the hotel will be an iconic one that will, with superior services, render the competition irrelevant.
He said the world class brand was happy to be associated with a man (Jim Ovia) who has a track record of delivery on quality, citing Visafone and Zenith Bank, which Ovia successfully pioneered to enviable heights.
Marriott, which began operations in Africa in 1982 with the Cairo Marriott Hotel, has a regional presence consisting of nine properties in three countries, offering 3,941 rooms.
Marriott International, Inc. is an American diversified hospitality company which operates franchises, and licences hotels and corporate housing properties worldwide.
As at December 30, 2011, it operated, franchised, or licensed 3,718 lodging properties with 643,196 rooms, in over 73 countries and territories around the world.
Marriot is listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and had revenue of $12.1 billion and net income of $198 million, in 2011.
The company was founded in 1971 and has its headquarters in Bethesda, Maryland.
Nigeria, Africa’s largest country by population, and second largest economy, has almost 7,000 hotel rooms under development in 2012, up 40 percent on last year’s figure, according to the W Hospitality Group, a Nigerian-based firm offering advisory services to the hotel, tourism and leisure industries in Africa.
New openings recently have included Radisson Blu, Four Points by Sheraton, Ibis and Legacy in Lagos, the commercial capital, and many groups have hotels under construction, including Accor, Hilton, IHG and Protea.
Other groups hoping to enter the vast Nigerian market for the first time and who have signed deals, include Kempinski, Mantis and Wydham.
A lack of basic infrastructure, such as power can add to the cost of running hotels in Nigeria, but for many successful hotels, the high cost of power is outweighed by lower staff costs.
Financing is also a major challenge facing hotel developers.
An upscale hotel may cost between $300,000 to $400,000 per room, putting the price tag on a 150-room hotel at $45 million (N7.1 billion) to $60 million (N9.4 billion) Trevor Ward, managing director for W Hospitality said.

Tags: Business, Nigeria, Hotels, Marriot Hotels

Culled From :ThisDayLive